2022 Rookies + Sophomores Rankings and Strategies

Apr 2nd 2022

Hayden Winks

Underdog Fantasy has a best ball tournament designed for the dynasty football community called "Rookies + Sophomores" where the only players in the player pool are the 2022 incoming rookies and last year's rookie class. Drafts are 12 rounds with four drafters (48 total picks), and they're completed in about 5-10 minutes. Signing up with promo code 'UNDERBLOG' gets first-time depositors a $100 deposit match bonus.

2022 Rookies + Sophomores Rankings & ADPs

Rookies + Sophomores Strategy

  1. Basic roster construction: 2QB, 4RB, 6WR/TE or 2QB, 3RB, 7WR/TE. Which one will depend on how strong your RBs and WRs, but this is the general mix as we start 1QB, 1RB, 2WR/TE, and 1RB/WR/TE each week. In other words, we can at most start 2RBs and 3WRs each week.

  2. Don't reach on Kyle Pitts, Pat Freiermuth, or other TEs. There isn't a TE spot in these drafts. Instead it's WR/TE, lowering the value of all TEs compared to other fantasy drafts.

  3. Pay attention to positional scarcity, especially at QB. I personally am very low on this incoming QB class. Malik Willis has rushing upside but is so raw that he could slide in the draft or need an NFL redshirt season. Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral, and Sam Howell could slide to the 2nd round, and 2nd round rookie QBs don't start many games typically. That leaves Kenny Pickett with the best odds of getting lots of rookie starts. For this reason, I'm prioritizing last year's QB class early in drafts. I want two of Trey Lance, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Mac Jones (my favorite value), Zach Wilson, Davis Mills, and Kenny Pickett. Losing points at QB is the fastest way to lose in half PPR best ball.

  4. Have 4 WR/TEs by the middle rounds. I believe there is a notable talent drop off after this group: Drake London (20th overall in ADP), Garrett Wilson (18th), Kadarius Toney (22nd), Treylon Burks (23rd), Rashod Bateman (26th), Chris Olave (27th), Rondale Moore (28th), and Jameson Williams (29th). These were all 90th percentile prospects in my model. The next batch of WRs were in the 70th-86th percentile range.

  5. Consider an anchor RB approach. If we want, we can only start 1RB and can at most start 2RBs, so spending a bunch of early picks on this position is fruitless, especially with "depth" being the key word when describing this incoming rookie RB class. The anchor RBs in this format are Najee Harris, Javonte Williams, Breece Hall, Travis Etienne, Elijah Mitchell, Kenneth Walker, and Michael Carter. Rhamondre Stevenonson and Isaiah Spiller are too sketchy.

  6. Grab an incoming rookie RB with your last pick or two. There is more uncertainty among rookie RBs this year, so we want more bullets on these rookies RBs in hopes of picking the one that surprisingly gets drafted early in Round 3. My favorite late-round RBs are Brian Robinson, Zamir White, and Dameon Pierce. They offer a 3-down ceiling if things break their way.

  7. Open the draft board while drafting to spy on what other drafters are doing. If we are debating between a RB or WR in the 8th round and we see the person behind us stinks at WR, then we should draft the WR first because the RB has better odds of falling to us the next round. This is especially true at QB due to scarcity.

  8. Stack sophomores with rookies, especially at WR. The sophomore WRs have more bankable playing time early in the season, which will be valuable for early-season scoring while we wait for the "post-bye rookie bump". If we have 6-8 WRs on our team, we want a nice mix.

  9. Find teammate correlation when possible. Some sophomore pairings: Zach Wilson with Elijah Moore and Michael Carter, Trey Lance with Elijah Mitchell, Trevor Lawrence with Travis Etienne, and Davis Mills with Nico Collins. It's possible that we can more accurately project rookie landing spots the two weeks before the 2022 NFL Draft, like Malik Willis with Amon-Ra St. Brown or Mac Jones with Jameson Williams.

  10. Listen to The Underdog Football Show. We have full podcasts on the incoming draft class with highlights here: